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Review: Metric existentially rocks in ‘Formentera’

Metric “Formentera” (Metric Music International)

Even Canadian rock stars are looking introspectively – and existentially – at their role and the meaning of it all in today’s seemingly crumbling world.

But hey, a pretty rock album came out of it.

Metric’s “Formentera” takes listeners into the depths with “Doomscroller,” which starts off sounding like a warehouse rave or a fever dream, or maybe both. What sounds like a blaring siren in the background accompanies lyrics that capture the spiraling, sinking feeling of being sucked into a scrolling frenzy of bad news. The techno synth rises and falls like a doom(sc) rollercoaster, only to dissipate where you expect the beat drop to be.

There’s a bit more change midway through the 10-minute song, and the dark, pulsating beats are replaced by hopeful, poignant piano chords. By the end of the song, you’ve forgotten all about the rave fever that was at the start of the song – you’re rocking just like singer Emily Haines “oooh”.

The accompanying music video features blue-hued shots of the band members juxtaposed against peaceful, overlapping exterior scenes. Blue lighting is also used in the video for “All Comes Crashing,” where long-lashed Haines sings a love letter, but to whom?

In the album’s namesake “Formentera,” Haines contemplates glory and shame, imagining getting away from it all on a beach on the picturesque Spanish island.

And “I Will Never Settle” is a bold response: “I saw a normal life / Terrified by the sight.” The lyrics flow with confidence and no doubt as Haines repeats, “We’ll never settle, it would crush our souls.”

Throughout the album, there’s questioning and existentialism, and it’s an unmistakable product of the past two pandemic years, but in classic Metric fashion, listeners can’t help but go wild. in any event.


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